"The Irresistible Church" by Wayne

Wayne CordeiroIrresistible Church, The: 12 Traits of a Church Heaven Applauds. Bethany House Publishers, 2011. 176 pgs. 

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".  

Wayne Cordeiro is a mega-church pastor in Hawaii. This book contains his advice on 12 traits of a church that heaven applauds. And that is the first thing you need to know about this book; it is not about making your church irresistible to other people, rather it is about making your church irresistible to God (though Cordeiro insists that if you have the latter, you will have the former as well). As you should expect, each chapter (other than the introduction) outlines one of these 12 traits. According to Cordeiro an irresistible church: Hungers for the presence of God, remembers who she is, lives heart first, practices gratefulness, promotes healthy relationships, is always learning, promotes spiritual self-feeding, connects everything to a soul, chooses to love, takes risks, humbles itself, and has a plan. 

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. You should know that I approached it with some skepticism. I find that books based on a list (7 habits of excellence, 5 steps to improve your prayer life, 12 steps to get everything you ever wanted for yourself and your entire network of family, friends, and acquaintances, etc.) are generally not very good. They tend to be about taking formulas which worked for one specific individual in one specific context and applying them everywhere. They deny the intrinsic importance of place and person, promote short-cuts, and as a rule they over-promise and under-deliver. Why, then, you might wonder, did I accept this book for free review? 2 reasons: the author, and the subject. I have heard Wayne Cordeiro speak and preach and quite enjoyed it. Also, in the blurb I got it mentioned that this book was about making a church irresistible to God rather than people. This intrigued me. 

In a lot of ways, the book is what you would expect. Filled with stories and illustrations, lacking focus in its subject, using scripture as proof-texts, and all to brief in the teaching of each of the points. However, in other ways it was not what you would expect. 7 of the 12 traits are genuinely good, healthy, and necessary advice. The other 5 are not bad; ranging from obvious to good teaching, each one was still worth reading. I especially appreciate his words about love, humility, and desiring the presence of God. 

Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally recommended. This is a decent book. It is a quick read, filled with good advice, and while somewhat formulaic Cordeiro has managed to get past that enough to make it worth reading. Just don't expect this to be what it isn't. 

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